Time And Time Again: Behind The Scenes

Behind The Scenes offers a glimpse at some rarely known facts regarding the writing of Alan Ayckbourn's plays with material drawn from the Ayckbourn Archive at the University Of York and the playwright's personal archive.
  • Handwritten notes by Alan Ayckbourn held in the Ayckbourn Archive indicate Time And Time Again was not the initial choice of title for the play. Other titles considered included: The Game's The Thing, Plays And Players, The Garden Pact and The Sporting Gnome.


  • Time And Time Again marks the first time water is used as practically stage in an Ayckbourn play. The plays requires a pond and, famously, the original production at the Library Theatre saw the pond develop a leak. The theatre was based in the Concert Room on the first floor of Scarborough's public Library and overnight, a leak developed in the pond prop allowing water to leak through the floor into the reading room below - apparently ruining some periodical magazines! Water would become a recurring feature of Alan Ayckbourn's plays, most famously in the flooded stage of Way Upstream.
  • Time And Time Again is a very rare example of Alan Ayckbourn making significant alterations to the script between the original production in Scarborough in 1971 and the London premiere in 1972. Although the first act was largely untouched, the second act had a number of alterations including the notable addition of the game of draughts scene between Leonard and Peter, which is spied on by Graham and Anna.
  • Queen Elizabeth II notably saw Time And Time Again during its original London run and invited Alan Ayckbourn to Windsor Castle in June 1974. Unfortunately he had to decline the invitation as he was in the middle of rehearsals in Scarborough for his latest play Absent Friends at the time. Legend has it that the Queen Mother was so taken by Bernard the gnome, it was presented to her post-tour and found a home in Windsor Castle.

Copyright: Simon Murgatroyd. Please do not reproduce the written material or the image of the archive notes without the permission of the copyright holders.